These past few months have seen a dramatic spike in gun and gang violence, not only in neighbouring Brampton but in other parts of the Toronto area as well.
But despite looking into root causes or the overall social condition, sometimes it’s really all about the guns and the federal government has reiterated previous commitments to prevent more guns from coming into Canada.
According to a press release from Brampton MP Ruby Sahota, the federal government is spending $86 million to help the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency to combat gun and gang violence. The money will be provided as part of broader initiatives the government announced last year.
Here’s the breakdown on what that $86 million is going to:
- Province providing municipalities with $500 million in support
- Canada’s ban on big cruise ships extended until February
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$51.5 million will be provided to the CBSA over five years to help prevent firearms from coming into the country illegally. The CBSA will invest in an all-weather detector dog training facility, deploy new dog teams at key highway crossings, expand x-ray technology at postal centers and air cargo facilities, and provide training on the detection of concealed goods in vehicles crossing our borders.
$34.5 million over five years will be used to enhance the RCMP’s new Integrated Criminal Firearms Initiative. The ICFI includes building capacity for investigations, training, inspections, technology, and intelligence.
In 2017, CBSA had 467 seizures of firearms, which was an increase of nearly 19 per cent from the overall number of firearms seized in 2016. The rate of violent firearm offences increased for the third year in a row to 2,734, an increase of 7 per cent over the previous year.
While those numbers sound impressive, and banning guns from coming into Canada sounds like a good idea, the man who hopes to become prime minister next year, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, believes he has a better solution.
— Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) November 12, 2018
Scheer announced this week announcing what his party would do to combat firearm and gang related crimes in Canada, as well as ending “a revolving door prison system.” The Tory leader outlined five specific measures a potential Conservative government would enact should they be returned to office in 2019.
End automatic bail entitlement for repeat gang offenders. Scheer said “right now, dangerous criminal offenders with prior convictions can be released right back on the street.”
Enshrine a list of criminal organizations into the Criminal Code, similar to the list of known terrorist entities. Scheer says it was lunacy to have to prove that members of the Hells Angels and MS13 were dangerous.
Mandatory sentences for instructing someone to commit a crime on behalf of a gang.
New sentences for ordering a violent offense on behalf of a criminal gang with mandatory sentences attached.
Revoke parole for gang offenders who choose association on a gang list.
As the 2019 federal election approaches, we are seeing the two main parties fall back into their familiar positions of doing something about the guns (Liberals) or doing something to ‘take down the gangs, thugs and criminals’ (the tough on crime stance from the Conservatives).
Do you think it’s better to ban guns or fight gangs to make people in Halton, and everywhere else in Canada, more safe?